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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My July Challenge!

Check back a little later today for Day 23 of my $1,200 Budget Challenge. I wanted to announce my July Challenge today for one reason...to give all of you would like to take the challenge time to prepare.

When I announced my June $1,200 Budget Challenge just a few days before June many of you said you would like to play along, but just didn't have enough time to get all your ducks in a row. So this time around, if you would like to take a challenge with me, you now have one week to prepare.

What is my new challenge? Changing our diet for the better, while spending less than $400 for groceries in the month of July. We typically spend just $300 a month on groceries, so how can this be a challenge when I am raising our grocery budget $25 a week? I want to eat a lot more raw foods in July. I want to purchase the bulk of our groceries in the produce section. I want to do more organic and natural foods.That can be expensive. And until I can get into a bulk buying co-op and stock up on some groceries I will be using the month of July as the first month that we really start to buy and prepare our food differently. I will try to come in well below $400 but I am giving myself that leeway because it does cost more to eat healthier. And yet, I don't think it costs a whole lot more, as others always attest to (you know, you've heard, I'd like to eat better,or more organic, but it's too expensive). I'd like to try to prove that wrong, so essentially, I am adding just $25 to our weekly budget and trying to eat that healthy diet.

$400 for the month of July will mean $20 a person, per week, for our family. We are not stocked up on food so I will not have a lot of reserves to draw from. I will be posting our menus, shopping trips, and recipes. Be prepared that we are not going to change all at once. You will still see little treats in the shopping cart, or boxed foods from time to time. I want this to be a gradual change through several months. July will be a starting point. And hopefully each month I can learn the tricks of healthy shopping and cut our healthy food shopping back down to $300 a month. I think our grocery bills/shopping will look a lot like our last week's shopping trip.

If you want to take this healthy grocery budget challenge along with me, feel free to e-mail me for the code for the button at babys_mama1@yahoo.com or just write about it on your blog. Once again, $400 is not the magic number. You may have a larger family or smaller family or live in a more expensive area of the country. You can still be a part of the $400 Grocery Challenge even if your budget will be higher or lower.

I can use all the tips I can get so feel free to share recipes or grocery shopping tips.

And don't despair, I know a lot of you want me to continue the $1,200 Budget Challenge. I will take what I learned from this month and use it for August, to hopefully come in below $1,200. So those who also want to participate in another $1,200 budget challenge can prepare for August. By the way, those of you who are doing the challenge this month, how is it going? Please check in today and let us know where you are at on your challenge!

Thank you to my brother, Dan, for helping me with my new Challenge button!


  1. Hmm that looks like a great challenge! Last year I did a "Food Stamp Challenge" on my blog, trying to spend $2 per person per day on food. I actually came in under budget.

    Recently, though, we've made similar changes in particular buying better all-natural (hormone and antibiotic free) meat and my budget has slowly crept up and up and up! It might be a good challenge for me to see how I can tighten things up!

  2. I really enjoy following your blog. We are a one-income family with seven, so we follow a strict budget so we are able to stay out of debt. We have no credit cards...we cancelled the one we did have because they charged us an 'inactivity' fee due to us not using it in 2 years. I admire you attempting to do these challenges. Good Luck with July's.

  3. This will be a great challenge! I MUST pass on a blog to you....I don't follow raw diets myself but tend to eat less cooked foods during the extreme HEAT of summer...ie more salads and cold things.. but have made a few things off this GREAT raw blog....Raw on 10$ a Day!! Maybe it could help meet your goal!


  4. Love it! I'm doing it!! Woo Hoo! it's going to be a real challenge with July fourth at my parents' lakehouse! How are we handling when we are guests? Maybe I should lop it down to $300 or $350 to be fair? Since I will be away for 4 days this month.

    Love this blog!!!

  5. Great idea! We went 90% fruitarian last summer and I loved it. Definitely more expensive but the health benefits were a nice trade off. We quit when the seasonal availability of family favorites ended.

    I would love to join you in July but I'm having a "one income challenge" next month and need to find out how our 'normal' stacks up against one income...so I can't make changes. Drat. Are you having an August challenge? I want to do one of these with you! :)

    I've enjoyed reading your updates on the $1200 challenge and I'm sure I'll enjoy the $400 one as well.

  6. A couple of ideas, I tried to change everything in our diet at once and that did not work. So change one item at a time when going healthier. It is easier on your budget and your santity!

    Buy only in season produce. Many times you can go to farmers market and get items that were raised organically but are not labeled that way. You just have to ask. But we only buy in season anywhere you go and then stock up if needed for other times of the year by either canning, freezing, dehydrating, or storing in cellar/basement.

    Ex. strawberries are bought in June. I like to have these year-round to throw in the yogurt I make. So I freeze about two gallons. Winter Squash is something that is found only in the fall. Buy a bunch and they will last a long time in a closet or cupboard.

  7. Moxie- Thank you for the website...very interesting! I must admit, many of the recipes don't look very tasty to me but I will continue to read it to find a few that do!

    Moderate Means- The $1,200 challenge will be back in August!

    Amy- Very good reminder! I'm slowly going to start to fill up my freezer with in-season fruits and produce to help in months when those items are sky high at the store.

  8. good idea staying away from the inside of the store is the best way to eat healthy. I can't wait to see how you make the stuff tasty I buy healthy most often but admit my meals are pretty tasteless.



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